[EDITORIALS]Come forward, Kim boys

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[EDITORIALS]Come forward, Kim boys

The president's sons are on everybody's lips these days over their alleged involvement in financial scandals. Excluding the eldest son, Kim Hong-il, who is in the United States for medical treatment, the scandals involving the second and third sons, Hong-up and Hong-gul, are growing daily. Suspicions about Hong-gul have grown steadily with detailed exposure, and the names of those involved have been mentioned too often to dismiss his involvement.

It is deplorable that the president's sons are in this situation, especially when they have had a chance to learn from the arrest of former President Kim Young-sam's second eldest son, Hyun-chul, for influence-peddling. Kim Sung-hwan, a friend who also managed funds for Hong-up, will soon be summoned by the prosecution. The president's second son, the vice chairman of the Kim Dae-jung Peace Foundation for the Asia-Pacific Region, is allegedly implicated in a series of scandals, including one that involved Lee Yong-ho, a corporate raider. Allegations concerning Hong-gul, the third son who is studying in the United States, have been supported by circumstantial evidence that he received money through his brother-in-law for influence-peddling in the selection of winners for a sports lottery. Because the roles that senior administration figures and Hong-gul played have been revealed repeatedly in the investigation, it's important that prosecutors carry out a thorough inquiry.

With prosecutors inquiring about these cases, the talk about taking legal action or naming an independent counsel or holding a parliamentary inquiry verges more on political attack. But the prevailing sentiment is that if need be, the president should be investigated. Against such a background, we should not chastise the opposition camps for launching political attacks. Rather, the sons should examine what happened and in doing so they need to willingly tell the public the truth. Hong-up should disclose how, as a vice chairman of a research institution, his name has been cited numerously in connection with a corruption case. Should he have more to disclose, he should voluntarily come forward before the prosecutors widen their net. It is desirable for the president and for the country that the president's sons come forward to address any questions or take whatever punishment is due.
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